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Discussion Starter #1
The title says it all, just installed my first 2 packages on Friday... One of the hives is quiet, one is 'buzzing' continually all day today. Since the 2 hives are not doing the same thing, I'm wondering if the 'buzzing' hive has a dead queen.

I installed the packages Friday when the temp was 70 or so, but we went to a high of 45 Saturday and today. No activity at either entrance (except a few dead bees) over the last 2 days, probably since it is so cool outside.

I plan on opening both hives Monday (should reach 60 and be sunny) to check on the syrup and see if the queens were released. If one of the queens is dead in the package, can I still replace it over the next week or two and still be OK? If it was released and killed, I guess I won't know until some comb is drawn and no eggs are laid over the next few weeks or so.

Maybe it's nothing to worry about, just seems odd to me that one hive is buzzing and one is not. If it makes any difference, the queens are Italian, shipped separately from the packages and were in plastic JZ-BZ containers.

Larry
 

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Checking Monday would be good. If you have a dead queen, sure...you can replace her in a reasonably short period of time and be fine. I wouldn't wait too long though. If she's been released, spend some time looking for her. If you find her, then you know the answer. If not, you're right...check for eggs / larvae later.
 

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I have a similar problem. I am now a second year beekeeper, I just installed four 3lb packages into four hives in my back yard on Tuesday last week (Michigan). Three hives are so far very active, fair amount of activity outside hive. Fourth hive is noticeably slower, not much activity at all. I'm going to check Mon or Tues to see if queens have been released, but at what point to I worry about hive4 being very slow? This is my first year with multiple hives (last year only had one) and I know they all progress at different rates. Thanks for any help, don't mean to hijack the thread, just hoping for some similar advice.
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:
The 'buzzing' hive is quieter now, but showing lots of activity outside. This is really the first nice day since the packages were installed and there are hundreds of bees around the hive. They seem to be going in and out, doing figure 8's in the air and directional dances on the landing board. Seems to be no fighting so I don't think it's being robbed.

The 'quiet' hive is still quiet and I only saw one or two bees leave the hive when I checked on it.

Maybe the buzzing hive is normal (clustering when it's cool?)... or maybe the quiet hive is just a little slower getting started... or maybe it's the quiet hive I should be concerned about... or maybe i just worry too much :D

Regardless, I still plan on opening both for a peek to see if the queens were released, probably after 5 or 6 today.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update # 2....

Sheesh, I think I'm in trouble.

The good news. Opened both hives, both queens are still in the cages. Buzzing hive is doing fine, lots of activity and things progressing as expected.

Non buzzing hive.... well, that's where the problem is. I deliberately leaned both hives forward to let any moisture run out the front, but the floats jammed on the hive top feeder on this one. A few hundred drowned bees and way too much moisture in the hive.the bees are laying on the top rails in what looks like wet clusters. They move, but slowly and lethargic-like. Some are dry and clinging to the side of the box, but most seem really wet. I removed the insert so the bottom screen was opened to ventilation, and propped up the top cover. I'll leave it this way until it gets below 45 tonight.

Really wish I had looked into this sooner... Really have a bad feeling about this.

Larry
 

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Larry,
Glad you found the problem...but know how bad you feel. The good news is that things may still work out ok. Correct the problem...then give the girls a chance and they may pull through. I hope it works out for ya!
 
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